Emperor Akihito of Japan is not your traditional emperor. In light of Akihito’s unconventional remarks hinting at a possible desire to abdicate, we spend this episode discussing the emperor’s place in Japanese government and culture. Read More
Professor Robinson joins us for a candid discussion about his book, ‘Why Nations Fail’. In it, he makes the case that the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few.
Take a look at some of the book reviews on “Why Nations Fail”:
- Why Nations Fail, New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman
- Book review: ‘Why Nations Fail,’ by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Washington Post, Warren Boss
Established in 2001, the African Union (AU) represents all African countries in the pursuit of economic development, human rights and security, and good governance. Africa is the youngest continent in the world with a booming population and several emerging economies, representing both immense potential and a serious challenge.
In this episode, guest speaker Ambassador Reuben Brigety, the former US Ambassador to the African Union and current Dean of the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, discusses his experience representing the US within the AU. Read More
South Sudan has been plagued by a brutal civil war that has killed thousands and displaced millions, with violence threatening to spill into neighboring countries, Meanwhile, the international community has failed to work with the competing factions to agree to a sustainable peace agreement, as there is little hope for any lasting peace in the near future. Read More
What is a government, and what are the essential elements for statehood? To what extent can sovereignty be disentangled from jurisdiction over territory? In this episode, we approach these enduring questions by focusing on a unique and under-appreciated player in the international community: governments in exile. We explore the causes of governments in exile, their various forms, their differences with traditional governments, and their future paths. Read More
Rwanda has been lauded as a development success and a role model for Sub-Saharan Africa, but critics suggest that this development has come at the expense of healthy democratic governance. Kagame’s Rwanda is an excellent case study for a broader question in international development: does democratic change lead to development, or does development lead to democratic change? Can you have one without the other?